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Dead Until Dark/True Blood

November 23, 2008

Sookie Stackhouse Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)When my girlfriend first told me about the new series on HBO called True Blood, she described it as Twilight for adults. The show is the story of Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin), a 25 year old waitress in Bon Temps, a small town in Louisiana. Sookie is a nice girl, but keeps to herself mostly due to her unusual gift (or disability as she tends to think of it). Sookie is telepathic, which makes dating and forming meaningful relationships kind of hard. When the handsome vampire Bill Compton walks into her life, Sookie is attracted to him right away, mostly because unlike everyone else, she can’t read his mind.

Bill, who grew up in Louisiana and was a soldier in the Civil War, has been wandering the earth for over a hundred years. Since vampires have now “come out of the coffin” Bill has decided that he would like to mainstream back into the human world and comes to Bon Temps to do just that. But people are still leary around vampires and when a bunch of murders start taking place in this small town, things become difficult for Bill and Sookie.

The HBO series is pretty interesting. I especially like the interaction and storyline of Sookie and the easy on the eyes Bill (Stephen Moyer). What I don’t really care for is the extreme violence throughout each episode. I suppose that since HBO produces the show, they can do most anything they want. I just don’t feel like it’s really needed. A show like this could have been successful on a national TV station without being so gratuitous. I’m no prude, but it just gets a big overdone after a few episodes. Having said that, I feel like one of those bugs drawn to those bright bug whackers people used to hang in their backyard. Even though I want to look away, I just can’t.

Since I do enjoy the Bill/Sookie storyline, I figured I would pick up the vampire mystery novel that True Blood is based on, Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Even though the book and series differ in some of their storylines, the basic mystery of who is killing off people in Bon Temps and the Bill/Sookie romance is basically the same. While there is plenty of vampire violence and steamy scenes in the book, it’s not over the top. It’s a quick read and ultimately entertaining although in some instances the writing is a a bit dull and overdone. As an example:

The shower felt wonderful. The hot water seemed to steam out some of my misery, and I shampooed my hair and scrubbed every inch of my skin, shaving my legs and armpits. After I climbed out, I plucked my eyebrows and put on skin lotion and deodorant and a spray to untangle my hair and anything else I could lay my hands on. With my hair trailing down my back in a cascade of wet snarls, I pulled on my nightshirt, a white one with Tweety Bird on the front, and I got my comb. I’d sit in front of the television to have something to watch while I got my hair combed out, always a tedious process.

I’ll tell you whats tedious – paragraphs like the one above. A little too descriptive, right? Who needs all those details anyway? The book has more than it’s fair share of run-on paragraphs and I found myself mentally skipping over some of those parts, just to speed things up a bit. I still liked the book, but don’t really need to know every. single. move. a. character. makes.

Just saying.

In the end, the HBO series is a good show, if you have a strong stomach, but the novel is better, if you can get over a few minor writing issues.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. Cat permalink
    November 23, 2008 4:38 pm

    Box sets make me drool, only that one pictured above makes me twitch. The first book has the cover art for the TV show while the rest are the original covers. My OCD does not allow me to ever have a collection like THAT in my possession! 😉 You can’t make a set out of a series and have the covers not match! Gah!!!

    I have never been sure about the Charlaine Harris books, have yet to try them. They are on my “fall back” list for when I can’t find anything else. 😉

  2. November 23, 2008 4:50 pm

    I agree Cat. I didn’t purchase the box set and had a heck of a time finding the original artwork for Dead Until Dark at the bookstore – most of them had the new one from the tv series that I really don’t like.

  3. November 23, 2008 4:53 pm

    I’ve been enjoying the show, and am planning on reading the first book after I finish watching this season!

  4. Debi Salanitro permalink
    November 23, 2008 9:45 pm

    I’ve tried several times to watch the show….but I do thank you for the names of the books. I knew the series was based on books but couldn’t figure it out! I will have to try the books!
    You are right that one paragraph is enough to bore you to tears though…lol

  5. November 23, 2008 11:39 pm

    Oh wow…i have been picking up that series for the past year and read halfway so far but didn’t even know about the hbo show!!

  6. November 24, 2008 4:05 am

    I have been reading the Dark Series by Christine Feehan please check it out and tell me what you think:)Hugs Darcy

  7. November 24, 2008 7:32 am

    True Blood isn’t showing in England as yet (unless I’m mistaken) but I’d heard about the books before and was going to try and find them in the library but no luck so far. The paragraph you shared though, makes them sound atrocious!

  8. November 24, 2008 12:35 pm

    See, it sounds awesome because VAMPIRES! WICKED! But paragraphs like that would TOTALLY turn me off a book. Like, forever.

  9. November 24, 2008 12:40 pm

    HBO tends to overdo a lot of shows, in my opinion. And why is it that all of their more recent shows feature someone with an unusual talent/gift (a la Carnivale?)

  10. November 26, 2008 12:36 pm

    I’ve heard so much about the series…on HBO. Thanks for the tips on the book series.

  11. desrine permalink
    December 3, 2008 4:10 pm

    I DON’T CARE WHAT NO ONE SAYS…THE HBO SERIES BRINGS THE WHOLE STORY TO LIFE. IF IT’S SO DAMN GRUESOME, U HAVE THE CHOICE OF CHANGING THE CHANNEL AND READ THE BOOK. HBO HAS BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS SO ANYONE THAT DIDN’T EXPECT THE SERIES TO BE SO ‘VIOLENT’ HAS NOT BEEN WATCHING HBO. I HOWEVER PLAN ON PURCHASING THE BOOKS JUST FOR COLLECTION PURPOSES.

  12. December 9, 2008 6:40 pm

    Hi, Stephanie! I have to thank you for this post because I’ve been watching “True Blood” from the beginning but had no idea that it came from a book series. That was news to me!

    I have to agree entirely with your assessment of the HBO series. I’ve learned that I can’t watch it right before bed because I have really bizarre dreams. And there’s so much “icky” in it that I try to look away sometimes but find I can’t. It really sucks you in.

    I’m curious about the books now and have to look them up. Thanks again! -Julia

  13. Ellen permalink
    October 22, 2009 12:40 pm

    I don’t see why it’s for adults, I watch and love it to bits and I’m fifteen! I have just watched season 2 and ready for season three.

  14. Herb Arnold permalink
    November 15, 2009 8:09 pm

    The “True Blood” TV series has made its extreme violence and sex an art that fits the vampire lifestyle from the book – but brings it up a couple notches. Its my favorite show on TV – I wouldn’t change anything about it. I’ve started reading the first book and am enjoying that as well.

  15. Districtremove permalink
    December 5, 2009 6:52 pm

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  16. March 25, 2013 4:43 am

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